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OFFICIAL OBJECTIVISM - Barbara Branden


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#1 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 11:52 PM

Works of Barbara Branden that are part of official Objectivism

The following works are part of official Objectivism as endorsed by Ayn Rand. Even in parts where Barbara later stated to have changed her views (for example, the essay, “Who is Ayn Rand?”), these works were endorsed by Rand and should be considered as integral parts of Objectivism and studied as such. At the very worst, they are historical works. At the best and normally, they are part of official Objectivist ideas.

Here are two statements by Ayn Rand that corroborate her endorsement:

I must state, for the record, that Mr. and Mrs. Branden's writings and lectures up to this time were valid and consonant with Objectivism.

– “To Whom It May Concern,” The Objectivist (May 1968/7:5, but written and sent out later)


I want, therefore, formally to state that the only authentic sources of information on Objectivism are: my own works (books, articles, lectures), the articles appearing in and the pamphlets reprinted by this magazine (The Objectivist, as well as The Objectivist Newsletter), books by other authors which will be endorsed in this magazine as specifically Objectivist literature, and such individual lectures or lecture courses as may be so endorsed. (This list includes also the book Who Is Ayn Rand? by Nathaniel Branden and Barbara Branden, as well as the articles by these two authors which have appeared in this magazine in the past, but does not include their future works.)

– “A Statement of Policy, Part 1” The Objectivist (Jun 1968/7:6, but written and sent out later)


What is missing from this compilation is a list of recorded lectures before mid-1968 where Barbara appeared, including Q&A sessions. If anybody can add to this list, please feel free to do so. I would like to thank The Objectivism Reference Center (http://www.noblesoul.../orc/index.html) of Richard Lawrence for being such a wonderful reference for much of the information that appears here.

I decided to make this list under my own responsibility and that of any other future contributor of OL. I did not consult either of the Brandens before doing so, thus this is not to be construed as an endeavor by them. It is my form of honoring them.

Michael



Book
Who is Ayn Rand? (1962) (with Nathaniel Branden)
(1 article)
Title essay, “Who is Ayn Rand?”

Pamphlet
The Moral Antagonism of Capitalism and Socialism

From The Objectivist Newsletter
(In existence from January 1962 to December 1965 – co-published by Nathaniel Branden and Ayn Rand)

Book reviews
(2 reviews)
Planned Chaos by Ludwig von Mises (Jan 1962/1:1)
The Roosevelt Myth by John T. Flynn (Dec 1962/1:12)

Articles
(2 articles)
“Capitalism and Religion” (Mar 1962/1:3) (text posted on OL by Roger 9/6/06)
“‘Right-to-work’ Laws” (Jun 1963/2:6)

Objectivist Calendar – 10 entries (Sep 1963/2:9; Oct 1963/2:10; Nov 1963/2:11; Dec 1963/2:12; Jan 1964/3:1; Feb 1964/3:2; Mar 1964/3:3; Mar 1965/4:3; Jun 1965/4:6; and Jul 1965/4:7).

From The Objectivist
(In existence from January 1966 to September 1971 – co-published by Nathaniel Branden and Ayn Rand until mid-1968)

Cultural Barometer
(6 entries)
Our Man Flint (movie) Feb 1966/5:2
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote Feb 1966/5:2
The Oscar, Dear John, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Born Free (movies) Sep 1966/5:9
Capable of Honor by Allen Drury Oct 1966/5:10
War and Peace (stage adaptation) Apr 1967/6:4
Tony Rome, Reflections in a Golden Eye, A Man for All Seasons, and In the Heat of the Night (movies) Jan 1968/7:1

Objectivist Calendar – 27 entries (Jan 1966/5:1; Feb 1966/5:2; Mar 1966/5:3; Apr 1966/5:4; May 1966/5:5; Jun 1966/5:6; Jul 1966/5:7; Aug 1966/5:8; Sep 1966/5:9; Oct 1966/5:10; Nov 1966/5:11; Dec 1966/5:12; Jan 1967/6:1; Feb 1967/6:2; Mar 1967/6:3; Apr 1967/6:4; May 1967/6:5; Jun 1967/6:6; Jul 1967/6:7; Sep 1967/6:10; Oct 1967/6:10; Nov 1967/6:11; Dec 1967/6:12; Jan 1968/7:1; Feb 1968/7:2; Mar 1968/7:3; and Apr 1968/7:4).

Note: As I do not have a copy of The Objectivist Newsletter or The Objectivist, I am unable to give the contents of “Objectivist Calendar.”

Concept

Barbara was the one who originated the concept of psycho-epistemology.

In Footnote No. 1 of Chapter 6 of The Psychology of Self Esteem, there is the following entry:

1. The term was first used, in print, by Ayn Rand to designate a man’s “method of awareness,” in For the New Intellectual (New York: Random House, 1961), p. 18. However, the concept of "psycho-epistemology," as used in Objectivism and in Biocentric Psychology, was originated neither by Miss Rand nor by myself but by Barbara Branden who, in the mid-1950’s, first brought this field of study to our attention and persuaded us of its importance.


Course
Principles of Efficient Thinking
10 Lectures
Roger Bissell gives the contents here on OL.
Note that Nathaniel Branden is the guest lecturer in Lecture No. 9.
This course was given at NBI before the 1968 break, thus it is technically “official Objectivism.” However, it appears that the CD’s now sold were recorded later.

The Art of Fiction
Active participant in the informal fiction-writing course given by Ayn Rand in 1958 in her living room. (Now sold as a 23 hour audio set, but with Barbara's voiced dubbed over.)

Radio broadcast
Our Esthetic Vacuum (Audio CD; 2-CD set; 97 min., with Q&A)
- This is a recording of a radio broadcast on Columbia University Station WKCR. The 60 minute lecture, “Our Esthetic Vacuum” was broadcast by Ayn Rand on April, 26 1962. The 60 minute Q&A was most likely broadcast on May 3, 1962. According to the "Objectivist Calendar" in The Objectivist Newsletter, the broadcast was a “Discussion by Prof. [John] Hospers, Ayn Rand and Barbara Branden.” The Q&A session is only approximately 40 minutes long and about 20 minutes are missing. Unfortunately, Barbara Branden's voice was erased on the product sold (and John Hosper's voice is recognizable, but not identified on the packaging).

#2 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 10:59 PM

Thanks to Roger Bissell for filling out the book and movie reviews written by Barbara in the Cultural Barometer listings.

This is given only as "Cultural Barometer" on the Objectivism Reference Center and I don't have a copy of the periodicals yet.

Michael


Edit - Further thanks to Roger for the following information:
Our Esthetic Vacuum (Audio CD; 2-CD set; 97 min., with Q&A)
- This is a recording of a radio broadcast on Columbia University Station WKCR. The 60 minute lecture, “Our Esthetic Vacuum” was broadcast by Ayn Rand on April, 26 1962. The 60 minute Q&A was most likely broadcast on May 3, 1962. According to the "Objectivist Calendar" in The Objectivist Newsletter, the broadcast was a “Discussion by Prof. [John] Hospers, Ayn Rand and Barbara Branden.” The Q&A session is only approximately 40 minutes long and about 20 minutes are missing. Unfortunately, Barbara Branden's voice was erased on the product sold (and John Hosper's voice is recognizable, but not identified on the packaging).

There is a longer discussion of this in a post by Roger on the thread entitled "Air brushed Objectivist publications and materials" here in the Branden Corner.

#3 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 05:38 AM

Active participant in the informal fiction-writing course given by Ayn Rand in 1958 in her living room.

The Art of Fiction (Audio CD; 23-CD set; 23 hrs., 3 min. of an informal fiction-writing course given in 1958 in the living room of Ayn Rand.)
- The voices of Nathaniel Branden and Barbara Branden are erased, replaced by a voice-over of a person who did not attend the course, stating: "At this point in the lecture, a student asked Miss Rand the following question..." Also, the original 48 hours of tapes were edited down to 23 hours and 3 minutes.

#4 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 05:49 AM

Taped lecture idea

This is an interesting fact about Barbara that does not count as "intellectual contribution" in the "writing articles" sense, however it was a critical idea for the spread of Objectivism as a movement in the beginning.

She was the one who came up with the rented taped versions of the lecture courses. On April 24, Nathaniel Branden mentioned this fact here:

And speaking of getting historical facts straight, it was Barbara Branden who initiated the idea of offering our Objectivist courses via tape transcription across the country and beyond, and that, dear people, was a major factor in making Objectivism a national phenomenon culturally. Without NBI, there would be no ARI. If you doubt me, do a little homework: begin by reading the monthly reports on "the advance of Objectism" on the last pages of The Objectivist Newsletter and The Objectivist.



#5 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 08:39 PM

Pamphlet - The Moral Antagonism of Capitalism and Socialism

Mentioned by Ayn Rand in a letter to Barry Goldwater on June 4, 1960 as one of the political pamphlets used for Objectivism students.




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